Cutting Edge R211 Subway Cars are First New Subway Car Fleet Introduced by NYC Transit in Five Years
Cars Feature Wider Doors, Security Cameras Throughout the Train, Digital Screens in Every Car, and Additional Accessibility Features
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced that the standard R211 subway cars are being phased into service on the subway line. The cars are part of a 535-car order of the R211a model, which includes 440 cars with state-of-the-art amenities, 15 Staten Island Railway five-car trains and 20 cars with the open gangway feature.
These R211 cars are a critical part of the MTA's ongoing modernization efforts and feature 58-inch-wide door openings that are eight inches wider than standard door openings on existing cars -- designed to speed up boarding and reduce the amount of time trains sit in stations.
These models include security cameras, additional accessible seating, digital displays that will provide more detailed station-specific information, and brighter lighting and signage, among other features that improve the customer experience.
“The new cars are going to give our riders a more modern passenger experience, so riding the subway no longer feels like a step into the past,” said MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber. “We’re investing over $6 billion in new train cars as part of the historic $55 billion MTA Capital Program and it’s not just for aesthetics, because these new train cars enable us to run more frequent service.”
“Faster, cleaner, safer is what we often say is our goal within NYC Transit, and what we’re delivering with the R211s are faster, cleaner and safer trains,” said New York City Transit President Richard Davey. “These cars feature security cameras and digital displays along with wider doorways that will help speed up boarding times and run more reliable service.”
“Wider doors and additional accessible seating will drastically improve the experience for all riders and particularly those with disabilities,” said MTA Chief Accessibility Officer Quemuel Arroyo. “Future open gangway pilot cars will also allow customers with mobility devices or strollers the ability to move through a train like never before, and I'm excited to try out these new cars."
“Our commitment to provide the best and most reliable service to our customers is unwavering, and these state-of-the-art subway cars are proof of that,” said New York City Transit Senior Vice President for Subways Demetrius Crichlow. “The R211s will give riders a more efficient, comfortable, and modern experience.”
“New Yorkers deserve state-of-the-art subway infrastructure,” said New York City Council Majority Whip Selvena N. Brooks-Powers, Chair of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. “I celebrate the MTA's rollout of these R211 cars - including on the line, which services community members in my district in the Rockaways - and I look forward to further improvements to subway accessibility and rider experience.”
“I’ve been with the MTA for about four years and I’m very excited about this day,“ said NYC Train Operator Tito Thorpe. “I get to be the first train operator to take this train into service with customers and I’m very hopeful it’s going to be an eventful day.”
In October 2022, the MTA announced Board approval to order an additional 640 R211 subway cars, bringing the total number of new subway cars to 1,175 within the next two years. This second set of new subway cars is expected to be delivered in early 2025. If testing is successful, there is a second option for an additional 437 cars that could feature open gangways.
“It’s wonderful to hear that the MTA is bringing brand new subway cars to the line,” said Rep. Jerrold Nadler. “This subway line currently has the oldest cars in the system, and finally the riding public on the 8th Avenue line will have modern new cars that feature 58-inch-wide door openings. That’s eight inches wider than existing standard subway door openings! These wider doorways will speed up boarding and reduce train sit times in stations, enabling faster service for the riding public along the entire A line.”
“Modernizing our transit systems has been one of the linchpins of my prescription for helping the MTA recover ridership,” said New York State Senator Leroy Comrie. “The introduction of the upgraded train cars will enhance the commuting experience for New Yorkers and be a part of the future-forward thinking New Yorkers need from the MTA.”
"I am pleased to welcome the MTA's announcement of its ongoing modernization efforts with the phase-in of its standard R211 subway car into service on the subway line,” said New York State Senator Robert Jackson. “These subway lines are a vital transportation artery for many working-class folks in my district, and I am thrilled to see the MTA’s plans come to fruition. I look forward to experiencing riding on one of them soon!”
“I applaud the MTA for continuing to make essential investments to improve the riders' experiences,” said New York State Senator Roxanne J. Persaud. “The new subway cars will provide essential amenities such as accessible seating, brighter lighting from digital displays, and security cameras for safer passenger transit. This upgrade is a great win for all commuters, especially in Senate District 19.”
“The new R211 cars hitting the line will provide riders with a more secure and accessible transit experience,” said Assembly Member Alex Bores. “I am happy to see these new and improved cars leave the station, the first of many to come, and will continue to support further investments to improve and expand MTA service.”
“New Yorkers have lots of different opinions, but no one likes it when people push their way onto the subway,” said Assembly Member Jo Anne Simon. “I’m glad that the MTA is adding new subway cars with modern features like wider doors to improve the boarding experience, more accessible seating, and new digital displays. New Yorkers have been asking for an improved subway experience, and this is a move in the right direction.”
“The transit system, with its maze of bus and subway routes, is the lifeline of New York City,” said Assembly Member Latrice Walker. “As a world-class city, commuters in the Big Apple deserve the very best. I’m excited about the addition of the new R211 subway cars, which are part of a wider subway modernization plan. I selfishly applaud the MTA for phasing the new cars into service on the subway line, since part of that runs through my district in Brooklyn. I am particularly excited about the wider doorways on the subway cars, because it will speed up the boarding and exiting of trains. That should reduce the amount of time the trains sit in stations and, subsequently, improve on-time performance.”
“Our subway cars are getting a makeover, and I couldn’t be more excited for the people who ride our line to get to see just how new and improved these cars are,” said Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso. “It’s by making improvements like this that we incentivize New Yorkers to make transportation choices that protect our environment and our health. Thank you to the MTA for improving the safety, comfort, and accessibility of our subways – I look forward to working together to ensure every subway line sees the same love.”
“Our transit system is one of the largest in the world, operating 24/7 and servicing millions daily,” said Council Member Carmen De La Rosa (CD-10). “Modernizing our system is the right step to ensure we are providing accessible service that competes on an international scale. The train is the Washington Heights and Inwood connection to the rest of the city and we are excited to be some of the first riders of the new R211 model trains.”
“It is very encouraging to see the first batch of R211 trains being brought onto the transit system in New York City,” said Council Member Kristin Richardson Jordan. “I am even happier to see them be put into use on the line, which runs through a part of my district. As the MTA works to modernize the system, including newer and more modern train cars is essential. These replacements are much needed to ensure that the MTA can run on time safely. On top of that, the improved accessibility is a huge benefit for riders, as those with disabilities are forgotten in our public transit system. We must continue to support the MTA as it works to modernize and improve service, and these trains are just the beginning of that.”